While we are on this analogy thing…

…here’s another one.

You read a poker book or two, and you learn all about odds and probabilities and stuff like that.  And so you think you know how to play poker pretty well.  And, in fact, you do.

So you show up at your neighborhood poker table and you start playing poker, using your knowledge of odds and probabilities and all that.  And you win.  You clean out everybody at the table.

Did you just “experiment” on those people you played poker with?

Suppose the people you played with get mad that they lost all their money, and they start calling you a skill-less cheat — or worse.  And you say no you are not a skill-less cheat.  And they say yes you are.  And you say, okay, let’s put this to a test.  Let’s play some more and see what happens.

And so you play some more, and you clean out everybody again.

Have you “experimented” on anyone yet?

Suppose, you do this a while.  It’s fun, after all.  You’re winning.  And, while you’re winning, you’re learning even more about poker and becoming an even better poker player than you were before.  Which means you win more and more often.  Which means people call you a skill-less cheat more and more often.

So, with all the name-calling and all the winning, everything gets a little boring.  To make it less boring, you start telling other people how to play poker.  You engage them in conversation.  You banter.

But nothing much changes.  Because nobody really cares about learning how to play poker and, in fact, nobody is even playing poker anymore.  Everybody is playing slapjack now.

So, you get up from the table and you leave.  You go to another poker game, in another part of town.

But, the same thing, basically, happens again.

So, you get up from the table and you leave.  You go to Vegas.

And you think, okay, I’m in Vegas now and poker is going to be really fun here.

But in Vegas, the same thing, basically, happens again.

You play poker, you win.  You get called names.  And the people you are playing poker with insist that the casino manager check your pockets and your sleeves, because they are very sure — extremely sure — that you are a skill-less cheat.  And they are really, really sure they can prove it.

But they can’t.  The casino manager looks in your pockets and looks up your sleeves and says a-ok,  you are just playing poker.

And then everybody starts playing slapjack.

So you get up from the table and you leave Vegas.

You go home and you decide to write about playing poker, since you know a lot about it.  But then you think, hey, even more interesting than playing poker is how people react when someone is playing poker.

Have you “experimented” on anyone yet?